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Legendary Artist, Actor, Producer, Author and Entrepreneur Queen Latifah Returns to Host the 55th NAACP Image Awards!

Today, BET, CBS and NAACP announced that GRAMMY® Award-winning musician, critically acclaimed Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning and Academy Award® nominated actor and producer Queen Latifah (series star/executive producer THE EQUALIZER, CBS) will return to host the prestigious 55TH NAACP IMAGE AWARDS, airing LIVE on Saturday, March 16, at 8:00 PM ET/PT on BET and on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on-demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on-demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the episode airs)*. Award-winning writer, double poet laureate and activist Amanda Gorman will be honored with the prestigious Chairman’s Award during the live telecast.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with groundbreaking megastar Queen Latifah and are elated to welcome her again as this year’s host. We also look forward to honoring changemaker and poet Amanda Gorman for her tremendous cultural impact,” said Connie Orlando, EVP of specials, music programming and music strategy at BET. “Queen Latifah, NAACP and Pastis have been such incredible partners in amplifying Black culture, excellence, creativity and ingenuity, and this year’s unforgettable show will be no different.”

“The NAACP Image Awards is an important celebration for our community and industry every year. We get the opportunity to highlight the major accomplishments of artists, writers, entertainers, activists and other changemakers that push Black excellence forward in a powerful way,” said Derrick Johnson, NAACP president and CEO.

Known for her stirring performance at the presidential inauguration in 2021, Gorman has become a beacon of hope and inspiration. Her inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb,” debut picture book, Change Sings, and her poetry collection Call Us What We Carry, all debuted at #1 on New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller lists. Beyond her poetry, Gorman has embraced her role as a symbol of the next generation’s potential, advocating for literacy, education and civic engagement. As a committed advocate for the environment, racial equity and gender justice, Gorman’s activism led to her become the first Global Changemaker for Estee Lauder. In this position, Gorman created the Writing Change initiative to support grassroots organizations dedicated to advancing literacy as a pathway to equality, access and social change through young voices.

“Amanda Gorman stands as one of the brightest young voices in our nation and has emerged as a formidable force inspiring a new generation of leaders toward transformative change through her advocacy efforts and poetic brilliance,” said Leon W. Russell, chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors. “With her exceptional talent and unwavering commitment to positive change, Gorman continues to leave an indelible mark on the literary and social landscape, proving that words have the power to shape a better future.”

The Chairman’s Award is bestowed in recognition of individuals who demonstrate exemplary public service and use their distinct platforms to create change. Past honorees include U.S. Congressman Bennie G. Thompson, Samuel L. Jackson, the late U.S. Congressman John Lewis, Ruby Dee, Danny Glover, Rev. James Lawson, Tyler Perry, then-Senator Barack Obama, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and former Surgeon General Regina Benjamin.

Globally recognized as one of the most distinguished multicultural award shows, the 55TH NAACP IMAGE AWARDS will continue its tradition of excellence, uplifting values that inspire equality, justice and progressive change, and highlighting artists committed to these values.


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